Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 4. Crimes Against the Person
5/27/2022

Article 2. Crimes by Mobs.

§ 18.2-38. "Mob" defined.

Any collection of people, assembled for the purpose and with the intention of committing an assault or a battery upon any person or an act of violence as defined in § 19.2-297.1, without authority of law, shall be deemed a "mob."

Code 1950, § 18.1-27; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 623.

§ 18.2-39. "Lynching" defined.

Any act of violence by a mob upon the body of any person, which shall result in the death of such person, shall constitute a "lynching."

Code 1950, § 18.1-28; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-40. Lynching deemed murder.

Every lynching shall be deemed murder. Any and every person composing a mob and any and every accessory thereto, by which any person is lynched, shall be guilty of murder, and upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in Article 1 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 18.1-29; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-41. Shooting, stabbing, etc., with intent to maim, kill, etc., by mob.

Any and every person composing a mob which shall maliciously or unlawfully shoot, stab, cut or wound any person, or by any means cause him bodily injury with intent to maim, disable, disfigure or kill him, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-30; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-42. Assault or battery by mob.

Any and every person composing a mob which shall commit a simple assault or battery shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-31; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-42.1. Acts of violence by mob.

Any and every person composing a mob which commits an act of violence as defined in § 19.2-297.1 shall be guilty of that act of violence and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in the section of this title which makes that act of violence unlawful.

1999, c. 623.

§ 18.2-43. Apprehension and prosecution of participants in lynching.

The attorney for the Commonwealth of any county or city in which a lynching may occur shall promptly and diligently endeavor to ascertain the identity of the persons who in any way participated therein, or who composed the mob which perpetrated the same, and have them apprehended, and shall promptly proceed with the prosecution of any and all persons so found; and to the end that such offenders may not escape proper punishment, such attorney for the Commonwealth may be assisted in all such endeavors and prosecutions by the Attorney General, or other prosecutors designated by the Governor for the purpose; and the Governor may have full authority to spend such sums as he may deem necessary for the purpose of seeking out the identity, and apprehending the members of such mob.

Code 1950, § 18.1-32; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-44. Civil liability for lynching.

No provisions of this article shall be construed to relieve any member of a mob from civil liability to the personal representative of the victim of a lynching.

Code 1950, § 18.1-33; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-45. Persons suffering death from mob attempting to lynch another person.

Every person suffering death from a mob attempting to lynch another person shall come within the provisions of this article, and his personal representative shall be entitled to relief in the same manner and to the same extent as if he were the originally intended victim of such mob.

Code 1950, § 18.1-34; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-46. Venue.

Venue for all actions and prosecutions under any of the provisions of this article shall be in the county or city wherein a lynching or other violation of any of the provisions of this article may have occurred, or of the county or city from which the person lynched or assaulted may have been taken as aforesaid.

Code 1950, § 18.1-35; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2004, c. 144.